Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

Westshore urges Ottawa to keep border open to U.S. thermal coal – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – April 28, 2017)

Westshore Terminals Investment Corp., the operator of a B.C. coal-shipping facility that exports to Asia, is urging Ottawa to maintain the flow of imports of thermal coal by train from U.S. mines in an unexpected twist during a week of rising trade tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

Westshore, whose largest shareholder is B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison, is upset that B.C. Premier Christy Clark has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban exports of thermal coal from British Columbian ports – a move that would effectively block train deliveries of U.S. coal from crossing the Canada-U.S. border.

Thermal coal is used to fuel plants that generate electricity. That type of coal is “dirty” and bad for the environment, Ms. Clark said Wednesday morning while campaigning for the May 9 provincial election. Continue Reading →

Ontario’s Liberals feed another budget to the Big Green Central-Planning Monster – by  Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – April 28, 2017)

The question all Ontarians must begin asking is how much economic pain — high transportation costs, soaring electricity rates, rampaging housing-market shortages and costs, stalled transit development, soaring debt — are they willing to endure to satisfy the Central Planning Monster.

The beast is everywhere, lurking in the background of every twitch in government policy and every legislative lurch. It’s thick claw-marks are all over Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s new Ontario budget, tabled Thursday, taking control of more and more economic activity and extending policy-making’s reach far beyond the iron grip it already holds on health care.

In the name of climate change and carbon control, Ontario’s Liberal government sent electricity prices soaring, the predictable product of the 2009 Green Energy Act that allows the government to seize control over an expanding range of energy operations. Continue Reading →

Goldcorp shares slide after drop in output – by Frik Els ( – April 27, 2017)

Shares in Goldcorp Inc (NYSE:GG)(TSX:G) dropped sharply Thursday after the company reported first quarter results that surprised to the upside in terms of profits, but fell well short of expectations for gold production.

Vancouver-based Goldcorp ended the day more than 5% lower in New York for a market capitalization of $11.8 billion after reporting a 122% jump in earnings to $170m or $0.20 per share against forecasts of $0.08.

Investors were unhappy about the fall in gold production however with output going from 799koz during Q1 2016 to 646koz in the same period this year leading to 6.6% fall in revenues for the quarter to $882 million. Continue Reading →

Aluminum’s Shine Won’t Last – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – April 27, 2017)

The most boring industrial metal has been looking a bit more exciting of late. Aluminum’s dispersed supply chain and huge exchange inventories have meant that for the most part, the price doesn’t do much.

While copper, zinc and nickel have whipsawed on strikes, deliberate shutdowns and political turmoil, the lightweight metal has plodded along between $1,500 and $2,000 a metric ton for the best part of five years.

Things seem to be changing. Aluminum is the best performer of the London Metal Exchange’s major metals this year, up 17 percent as those exchange inventories head toward a nine-year low and China plans further smelter shutdowns in Xinjiang, the main growth region for capacity. Continue Reading →

Vale’s first quarter profit lower than expected as rains hurt iron ore output – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 26, 2017)

Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE), the world’s No.1 iron ore miner, logged Thursday net income for the first quarter that missed estimates, reflecting the impact of heavy rains that hampered output in the so-called northern system, which groups the Carajás, Serra Leste and S11D mines in northern Brazil, as well rising financial expenses.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company reported a net income of $2.5 billion, no less than a billion off the average consensus estimate of $3.325bn in profit. It was, however, the largest since the first quarter of 2014, according to Vale.

The miner had already announced a production record in iron ore of 86.2 million tonnes for the January-March period, which it credited to the ramp-up of its massive S11D mine in Pará, and the Itabirito project, in Minas Gerais. Continue Reading →

Fight softwood duties with U.S. coal shipment ban, premier urges – by Andrew Duffy and Lindsay Kines (Victoria Times Colonist – April 27, 2017)

If the United States refuses to come to the negotiating table, and the legal wrangling over the softwood lumber dispute drags on, Canada may want to consider retaliatory action, according to the man tasked with representing British Columbia in the matter.

A day after the U.S. imposed duties averaging 20 per cent on lumber shipments to the U.S, David Emerson, B.C.’s special trade envoy to the U.S., said there might be means of getting the Americans to move off their stance that Canada’s lumber industry is unfairly subsidized.

Asked if there’s anything beyond the legal route Canada could do to push for a negotiated settlement, Emerson suggested retaliation is an option. “There’s always a big debate as to whether a country wants to link one trade issue with another. It’s a slippery slope and while it often happens quietly and implicitly, very seldom is it done in an open and transparent way,” Emerson said. Continue Reading →

Conflicting rulings in Ontario and B.C. muddy the waters in Eco Oro Minerals board battle – by Barbara Shecter (Financial Post – April 25, 2017)

A layer of drama was added to the fight between Eco Oro Minerals Corp. and a group of dissident shareholders Monday after an Ontario regulator and a B.C. court came to different conclusions regarding the battle over control of the board.

The shareholder group, which is trying to oust the board of the precious metals exploration and mining company in favour of their own slate, got a boost when the Ontario Securities Commission ruled early Monday that a disputed share issue by the company required a shareholder vote.

But a ruling from the B.C. Supreme Court later in the day — in response to a separate claim — found that the minority shareholders of Vancouver-based Eco Oro had not met the test for shareholder oppression. It also adjourned a special meeting at which a different vote — over board composition — was to take place Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Robert Friedland goes to Hollywood – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 24, 2017)

One of Robert Friedland’s pet peeves is that as people move away from the country to the city they become divorced from the supply chain and no longer understand where things come from. They don’t realize, he says, that everything they touch is either grown or mined. Take a look at everything around you, he urges, “we either mined it or we grew it—there are no exceptions.”

“Most people who live in urban environments think a ham sandwich comes from a refrigerator—they don’t really visualize all those pigs being slaughtered in a river of blood outside Chicago,” he adds.

“Most people don’t realize that when they walk into a dark room and turn on the light, somewhere a generator has to kick in and give them that power, because there’s virtually no storage of electricity in the grid. We think miners have to do a much better job of explaining how fundamental we are to improving this world. That’s why we have gotten into Hollywood—that’s why we are in the movie business.” Continue Reading →

Robert Friedland: Celebrating a lifetime of achievement – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 24, 2017)

Over most of the last two decades, the first voice Peter Meredith would hear at the crack of dawn each morning was Robert Friedland’s. “The phone would ring and he would say: ‘Hi Peter, it’s Robert,’ and I’d think, ‘What a surprise, who else calls me at six in the morning?’”

Meredith, who retired as a partner at auditing firm Deloitte in Vancouver to join Ivanhoe Mines full-time in 1996, says that over the following sixteen years, he was pretty much a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day guy, to keep up with his boss.

“Robert doesn’t take weekends off and he doesn’t like holidays much … He is a very energetic, driven guy—he knows no boundaries as to how hard he works—so the tone from the top is that you feel like a non-contributor when you aren’t working as hard as he is.” Continue Reading →

[Canada] The Power 50: Who has the influence, the connections and the cash to get their way in the world of business? (Globe and Mail/Report on Business – April 26, 2017)

We pull back the curtain on the financiers, scions, politicians and CEOs—plus a few bureaucrats and even one hip-hop star—who wield true power in Canada

Only one miner makes the list, Vale Canada’s Jennifer Maki. – Stan Sudol

1. Paul & André Desmarais | Co-CEOs, Power Corp.

If there is a key to the Desmarais family’s formidable wealth and influence, it is this: entree. Paul Desmarais Sr. possessed astonishing business acumen. But it was his ability to cultivate the crème de la crème in politics and finance that elevated him to the highest levels in North America, Europe and China. He met with Deng Xiaoping in Beijing; invited Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to his estate in Charlevoix, Quebec; and received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour from Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

Most importantly, Desmarais, who died in 2013, meticulously groomed his sons, Paul Jr. and André, for succession. In 1996, he named “the boys”—now in their early 60s—co-CEOs of Power Corp. Since then, Power has quintupled in value. How have they done it? As magnate Peter Munk said in 2008: “The boys got introduced to his contacts. They were educated well, they married well and they’ve behaved.” Continue Reading →

Barrick shares tumble as gold miner sounds cautious tone – by Josh O’Kane (Globe and Mail – April 26, 2017)

Barrick Gold Corp. shares slid 11 per cent Tuesday as investors reacted to the gold miner’s first-quarter results, which missed production and earnings estimates and revealed higher operating costs.

The world’s largest gold producer late Monday reported first-quarter net income of $889-million (U.S.) and adjusted net earnings of $162-million, or 14 cents a share, versus the analyst consensus estimate of 20 cents a share.

At the company’s annual meeting Tuesday, president Kelvin Dushnisky highlighted Barrick’s new era of caution, including cost savings through new joint ventures and debt reduction – having paid down $178-million in the first quarter. Continue Reading →

Barrick’s bad day: Shares fall 10% as investor confidence shaken by third cyanide spill at Argentine mine – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – April 26, 2017)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s third cyanide spill in two years at its Argentine operation was among a number of environmental and social concerns that took centre stage at its annual general meeting Tuesday, the stock’s worst day in six months.

Barrick president Kelvin Dushnisky told shareholders that a cyanide pipeline rupture on Mar.28 at its Veladero mine posed no risk to people or the environment.

“However, this was the third incident at Veladero leach pad in the last 18 months and that is completely unacceptable,” Dushnisky said. “These incidents weaken our partnerships and the trust that underpin them.” Continue Reading →

Does a gold-backed digital currency seem far-fetched? Look who’s behind it – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – April 25, 2017)

As gold miners begin reporting earnings this week, it’s time to ponder the long-term future of bullion demand. One of the most intriguing developments in that regard is an audacious $1-billion (U.S.) project to create a freely traded gold-backed digital currency.

To be sure, it’s easy to mock the new venture as a way-too-trendy attempt to marry the traditional appeal of precious metals with today’s enthusiasm for the blockchain technology behind bitcoin.

But the project has two big-name backers behind it and their reputation suggests investors might want to pay close attention. CME Group Inc. is a U.S.-based company that operates the world’s largest options and futures market. The Royal Mint is a thousand-year-old institution owned by the British government. Continue Reading →

Alcoa’s stock surges in its first full quarter as standalone company – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg/Globe and Mail – April 25, 2017)

Alcoa Corp.’s first full quarter as a standalone company vindicates investors’ faith and signals even better times may be ahead.

Profit excluding one-time items was 63 cents a share, New York-based Alcoa reported after the close of regular trading Monday, exceeding all seven estimates of analysts tracked by Bloomberg. Shares jumped as much as 7.1 per cent on Tuesday.

Shares have surged since the company separated from its jet– and car-parts business in November, helped by a jump in aluminum prices. Investors have also rewarded Alcoa for its thrift, as Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey merges units and drives efforts to simplify operations. The results come as Arconic Inc., the downstream business that split from Alcoa, contends with a proxy battle fueled in part by concern over corporate spending. Continue Reading →

Hey Watson! Is there gold in them thar hills? – by Frik Els ( – April 24, 2017)

All the easy digging has been done. All the richest seams have been mined. All the big discoveries have been made. It’s become something of a cliché in mining to pine for the good ole days of rivers of gold, oceans of diamonds and mountains of copper (as if that ever existed).

But that ignores the enormous technological strides that the mining and exploration industry has made – mostly in the interest of efficiency and cost-cutting, but also for discovery.

Advanced technology is being deployed across the industry. From remote management of mines from 1000s of kms away using autonomous trucks and trains, equipment monitoring every tiny detail of plants and processes in real time, widespread automation and mechanization to sampling, detection, imaging and surveying systems. And drones; did I mention drones. Continue Reading →